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HomeFactsWhy Do Alzheimer's Patients Want To Go Home

Why Do Alzheimer’s Patients Want To Go Home

Thoughts On My Mother Always Wants To Go Home But Shes Already Home

Why Do People Living with Alzheimer’s Want to Go Home?
  • Cheryl Rawding

  • My mother has mid to late alzheimers as of now she shares a room with my great aunt . In a few months my great aunt will be moving out and I am nervous at the fact that my mother will be sleeping alone in her room, my room will be next door, but I sleep with my husband.Whenever my aunt even goes out and takes out the trash my mom looks for her. My mom is very use to my aunts company any advice of what can help when my aunt is not around my mother follows her every move and Im more than sure she will do the same to me.

  • Helping Your Adult Parent Feel Safe And Comfortable

    Dont argue about them already being at home.As previously stated, your parent isnt truly wanting to go home rather, theyre looking for something that may or may not exist, such as a homelike feeling. Instead of arguing that they are home , try instead to understand and acknowledge their feelings behind wanting to go home. Ask your parent where home is they may describe the place they lived previously or their childhood home, or even an idyllic place like a vacation destination. Encourage them to talk about why they were happy and comfortable there, which may help you find ideas on how to help your parent feel better.

    Reassure and comfort your parent.Let your parent know that he or she is safe and, in a place, where people care. Reassure them verbally and also with comforting touches, if appropriate. By helping your mom or dad feel safe and loved, they will know theyre cared for, which can help ease their anxiety.

    Redirect the conversation and/or their attention.Redirection is an incredibly useful tool for whenever your parent is exhibiting concerning behaviors. Here are some examples of how to gently redirect your parents attention and help them stay calm and content.

    For more information about dementia caregiving, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

    Take Them For A Brief Car Ride

    If nothing seems to work, agree to take them home and then take them for a brief car drive. Be able to adapt to the circumstances.Alzheimers damages a persons brain and causes them to experience the world in a different way. Be patient enough to meet them where they are and focus on reassuring and comforting them.

    Devoted Guardians’ Response to COVID-19

    Devoted Guardians is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.

    While most cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a very small percentage of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Devoted Guardians serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.

    We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control State Department of Health, local and county authorities, the Home Care Association of America and other agencies and resources. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.

    Read Also: Does Terry Semel Have Alzheimer’s

    A Person With Dementia Doesnt Always Fit Into One Stage

    Dementia affects each person in a unique way and changes different parts of the brain at different points in the disease progression.

    Plus, different types of dementia tend to have different symptoms.

    For example, someone with frontotemporal dementia may first show extreme behavior and personality changes. But someone with Alzheimers disease would first experience short-term memory loss and struggle with everyday tasks.

    Researchers and doctors still dont know enough about how these diseases work to predict exactly what will happen.

    Another common occurrence is for someone in the middle stages of dementia to suddenly have a clear moment, hour, or day and seem like theyre back to their pre-dementia abilities. They could be sharp for a little while and later, go back to having obvious cognitive impairment.

    When this happens, some families may feel like their older adult is faking their symptoms or just isnt trying hard enough.

    Its important to know that this isnt true, its truly the dementia thats causing their declining abilities as well as those strange moments of clarity theyre truly not doing it on purpose.

    Stage : Moderate Dementia

    Why do so many people with dementia say I want to go home ...

    Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.

    While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.

    Read Also: Oneirophrenia Dementia

    If He Or She Doesn’t Recognise Their Environment As ‘home’ At That Moment Then For That Moment It Isn’t Home

    Try this instead:

    Try to understand and acknowledge the feelings behind the wish to go home. Find out where ‘home’ is for them – it might not be the last place they lived. It could be where they lived before moving recently or it could be somewhere from their distant past.

    Often people with dementia describe ‘home’ as a pleasant, peaceful or idyllic place where they were happy. They could be encouraged to talk about why they were happy there. This can give an idea as to what they might need to feel better.

    Read: Day 1 With A New Caregiver In Your Home

    3. Be patient. If you are talking to a loved one in the early stages of dementia, he or she is not going to be able to focus on the conversation for a long period of time.

    As attention wanders, be patient, listen attentively, talk about other things, then bring the conversation back to the topic at hand. Wondering how to actually put it into practice? Try one of these tested strategies if you get stuck:

    “Every ounce of patience is required when Im looking after my first cousin. I mean, he acts so weird at times. So I learned to use three steps: First, I try to stay calm, and also attempt to make the home environment as mellow as possible. Next, Ive found that playing some of his favorite music helps create a positive vibe. I swear this works! Finally, whenever I can, I try to chunk down activities into small steps. It helps us stay focused and helps me be more patient.” – Man caring for his cousin with dementia

    Caring for a loved one with dementia can be difficult. Home Care Assistance has worked with leading experts to develop training programs for our teams so they can provide the specialized care needed for seniors experiencing cognitive decline. You can contact a Care Advisor at or and learn more about how we can support your needs.

    Learn about our elderly care services.

    Don’t Miss: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

    What To Do If They Refuse To Let Go Of The Idea

    Sometimes, your older adult will refuse to let go of the idea of going home, no matter how much you try to soothe or redirect.

    If that happens, you might need to agree to take them home and then go for a brief car ride.

    Experiment with how long it takes before you can take them home without protest. Or, suggest a stop at the ice cream shop, drugstore, or grocery store to distract and redirect.

    If its not possible to actually take them out or get into the car, even going through the actions of getting ready to leave can still be soothing. This will shows that you agree with them and are helping to achieve their goal.

    Meanwhile, the activities of getting ready give you more chances to distract and redirect to something else.

    Keep in mind that not everything you try will work the first time. And even if something works once, it might not work the next time.

    Do your best to stay calm, flexible, and creative this technique gets easier with practice.

    Does My Loved One Have A Healthy Structured Routine At Home

    What to Do When Someone with Dementia says “I Want to Go Home” (The BIG Mistake You’re Making)

    People with Alzheimers benefit from a consistent, structured daily routine. They also benefit from a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and mental and social stimulation. Circumstances may make it impossible for you to offer your loved one a daily routine that supports their well-being: for instance, if you work long hours, or depend on support from family members who cannot commit to regular hours, meaning that the patients routine is frequently disrupted.

    If you feel that while you would prefer to keep your loved one at home, you are not able to give them a good quality of life, it would be a good time to consider a nursing home. Nursing homes can offer a customized treatment program, a healthy diet, 24-hour support and supervision, and social activities. If you would like further advice on Alzheimers nursing homes, please contact us here.

    Read Also: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

    Distract With Something Pleasurable

    If youve tried telling the truth and found your loved one became even more irate, saying for example, But Ive changed my mind about moving! I want to go home! Its probably wisest to give up gracefully getting locked into arguments about whose decision it was to move and why they cant go home now, isnt helpful to either of you. Instead, try suggesting you do something enjoyable together, such as going for a walk, eating a cream cake, or listening to some favourite music. Once theyre absorbed in a pleasurable activity, theres a good chance theyll feel calmer and stop asking that question for a while, at least.

    Things To Say To Someone With Alzheimers

    Seeing someone you care about experience Alzheimers or another type of dementia is painstakingly difficult. Knowing what to say to someone whos lost his or her memory can also be hard. However, how you approach conversations can have a significant impact on your loved one.

    The most important tip for communication with someone living with Alzheimers is to meet them where they are, said Ruth Drew, director of Information and Support Services at the Alzheimers Association. In the early stage of the disease, a person is still able to have meaningful conversations, but may repeat stories, feel overwhelmed by excessive stimulation, or have difficulty finding the right word. Be patient and understand that their brain is not working in the way it once did.

    As the disease progresses, communicating with that person may become even more challenging. However, if you recognize the changes and challenges that come with dementia, you will more easily be able to alter your conversations with that person to meet his or her needs.

    This may require slowing down and making eye contact with the person as you speak, says Drew. Use short, simple sentences, ask one question at a time, and give the person time to process and respond before continuing the conversation. If you are kind, gentle and relaxed, everything will work better.

    Read on for six helpful things to say to those with Alzheimers, and three topics and phrases experts recommend avoiding.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

    After Two Weeks Or So Start To Wean Yourself And Your Loved One

    • Visit every other day instead of every day, eventually go every third day.
    • Make a mental list of things to talk about, as your loved one wonât have information to share with you.
    • Learn the schedule and visit during âfree timeâ rather than activity time.
    • Take your loved one for walks around the facility, particularly in the garden, if they have one.
    • Bring photo albums to look through, or a tablet or cel phone to visit Facebook to share pictures and stories of family and friends.
    • If you know someone else has visited, remind your loved one that they came.
    • Shorten your visits. The person with dementia usually doesnât remember if you have been there for five minutes or five hours. Ultimately itâs better to visit three times per week for 20 minutes than once a week for an hour.
    • Do not go on outings until your loved one is totally adjusted to their living situation, and then only if you think it would be helpful and not confusing.
    • Come with a friend or someone else who knows the person. Remind your loved one who this other person is.
    • Bring videos that you would like to watch and watch them together, particularly comedies and old movies. Even if he/she canât follow the story, they can often enjoy the experience, and you can hold hands or sit close and feel connected during this time.

    Gently Tell The Truth

    10 Things to Do When an Alzheimers Patient Says They Want ...

    If they seem genuinely disorientated by their surroundings perhaps theyre getting used to a new environment and keep forgetting that theyve moved remind them often that theyre now living with you, or have moved into sheltered accommodation or a care home. This sort of reassurance might be enough to calm them down.


    Keep giving exactly the same explanation about where they are, and why they moved, each time they ask. For example, You were getting lonely living on your own so you decided to move here. Youre really safe and everyones very friendly. You arent lonely anymore. You dont need to keep repeating all the complicated events which led up to them moving . Whatever you say, try to make it clear that the move was as much their decision as anyone elses.

    Recommended Reading: Alzheimers Ribbon Color

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    Dealing With Dementia Behaviors: Expert Tips For Understanding And Coping

    Anger, confusion, and sadness are a few symptoms a person with dementia may experience regularly. The result of these feelings is a range of unpredictable behaviors including using poor judgment, aggression, mood swings, and repeated questioning or manipulation.

    Even though you know your loved ones dementia behaviors are symptoms of a disease and not intentional, dealing with them is often emotionally and physically challenging. Learn more about typical dementia behaviors in the elderly and expert tips for managing them.

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    Why Do People With Dementia Think They Are Not At Home

    When someone has dementia, it is unlikely that you will be able to convince them of something they dont feel is true. She may be remembering her childhood home or remembering her home as it used to look. Whatever the case may be, it doesnt feel like home and you probably wont be able to make her believe it.

    Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

    Why do dementia patients say “I want to go home?”

    This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

    • Forgetting where one has placed an object
    • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

    Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.

    Recommended Reading: Dementia Ribbon Colour

    Could This Be You

    The person youre caring for seems on edge. They may have recently moved house and youve done your very best to make them as comfortable as possible but They cry, plead and insist frequently that they want to go home. They refuse to unpack or keep re-packing their suitcases. Youre worried theyre going to try and go home on their own.

    The plaintive cry, I want to go home! is one that strikes dread in the hearts of family and friends, particularly if a loved one with dementia recently moved into a care home. However, it is a fairly common challenge in the mid to late stages of dementia. Heres a few ways to deal with it.


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